16 December 2011

Hip humbug

Well MissyMoo3 (11 weeks) has been in the Pavlik hip harness for 6 weeks now, which meant it was time for her to have an ultrasound and a check-up with the doctor to see if it could come off.

At first I had it in my head that she'd only be in it for the 6 weeks, as MissyMoo1 had only been in it for 5 weeks when she was a baby. But a couple of weeks ago, MissyMoo3's physiotherapist told me to be prepared for it to stay on for a further 6 weeks, because that was a trend they had been seeing lately, particularly with our doctor's patients.

I'm so glad she told me that.

From that point on I didn't even allow myself to entertain the notion that it might come off after 6 weeks. I thought of the check-up as an interim measure to assess progress, knowing that if I allowed myself even a glimmer of hope of the harness coming off, I would be disappointed if it had to stay on.

It stayed on.

There has been improvement. The hip's angles need to be 60 degrees to be normal. Before the harness, MissyMoo3's were 47 and now they're 53 - getting there.

It is disappointing, there's no doubt about it. It feels a bit like we're missing out on the good newborn stuff - the snuggly cuddles - it's so awkward to hold her. Those few minutes per week when she's in the bath without her harness on are precious - it feels like I have my baby back. But I also know that I prefer this scenario to worrying myself sick about potential surgery as is the case with MissyMoo2 (2). I also realise that we are actually very lucky - I see that every week at the physio department with other kids much worse off than MissyMoo3. I know it also from medical issues that friends and extended family have. So I'm trying not to complain.

I'm pleased that I was able to condition myself to getting through the day by lowering my expectations over the past couple of weeks. It meant that I was able to have a conversation with the doctor without bursting into tears. It meant that I was able to matter-of-factly arrange MissyMoo3's physio appointments for the next five weeks. It meant that I was able to spend some quality time with the big MissyMoos when I returned home from the hospital - painting toenails and making chocolate crackles - without falling into a blubbering mess.

Yes, she'll have the harness on over Christmas - bah humbug. But at least we're having an unseasonably cold summer. If that keeps up she won't be too uncomfortable.

xx

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